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Meghalaya poll: 27 crorepatis in fray
K Anurag in Guwahati | February 28, 2008 17:39 IST
It seems there is no dearth of crorepati politicos in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya known for its picturesque locations.
There are 27 crorepati candidates from different political parties including independents in the fray in the Meghalaya assembly election scheduled to be held on March 3.
Significantly, out of the total 331 candidates only seven candidates have declared their PAN numbers.
Nine candidates have declared they don't have a PAN number, while the remaining 315 candidates have avoided disclosing the PAN number.
A woman candidate from the ruling Congress party tops the list with her declared assets worth over Rs 11 crore and three luxury cars, a value of which has not been disclosed by her in her affidavit to the Election Commission.
Significantly, Meghalaya is going to have the distinction of having a 'clean assembly' as none of the total 331 candidates in the fray has any criminal background, at least that is what is gleaned from their mandatory affidavits placed before the poll panel.
According to a survey conducted by the Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms based on facts about poll candidates available with the Election Commission, in all 27 candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
Ten of the crorepatis are from Congress, seven from the Nationalist Congress Party, four from the regional United Democratic Party, four independents and one each from Hill State People's Democratic Party and Meghalaya Democratic Party.
The richest candidate is the incumbent state's Health Minister Debora Marak (Congress) who is declared to have assets worth Rs 112,36,87,492 and three Boleros and one Accent. She, however, hasn't disclosed her PAN number.
Other prominent crorepati candidates included NCP general secretary and former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma who claims to be worth Rs 2.19 crore, Deputy Chief Minister and UDP president Donkupar Roy, Dr Mukul Sangma (Congress) and another sitting Congress minister Nehlang Lyngdoh.
Significantly, three-time state Chief Minister and a veteran in state politics D D Lapang's name is missing from the list of crorepati candidates.
Among the major political parties, average declared assets of Congress candidates is Rs 274.95 lakh, for the NCP candidates it is Rs 122.67 lakh, and for the UDP average worth of each candidates is Rs 99.98 lakh, for the MDP it is Rs 45.49 lakh and for the BJP the average figure is Rs 7.68 lakh per candidate.